Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Wheel Cylinder

brake wheel cylinder

Bad or Failing Brake Wheel Cylinder Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

Brake wheel cylinders are a component found on modern drum brake systems. They are the hydraulic component that extends to press the brake shoes against the brake drum when the pedal is depressed. As they are a hydraulic component and subjected to the harsh conditions of braking, they can wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. When brake wheel cylinders do go bad, they will usually produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that service may be required.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. Mushy brake pedal

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad wheel cylinders is a mushy brake pedal. If wheel cylinders develop any sort of internal or external leak, their ability to pressurize and extend the piston may be compromised. This may result in a brake pedal that feels abnormally soft, or mushy, or a brake pedal that slowly sinks to the ground when it is depressed.

2. Poor brake response

Another symptom of bad or failing brake wheel cylinder is poor brake response. If any of the wheel cylinders fail, it may affect the pressure of the system, which will reduce the system’s ability to slow the vehicle. A vehicle with poor brake response will be harder to stop, especially in heavy braking situations.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Brake fluid leaks

Brake fluid leaks are another symptom of a problem with the brake wheel cylinders. If the wheel cylinders’ seals leak brake fluid will be visibly present. You may see a thin film covering the inside of the backing plate, or in more serious cases, drips or pools of brake fluid coming from the brake wheel cylinder. If a leak is large enough to be easily seen, that may also mean that the braking ability of the vehicle has probably already been compromised. Usually a quick visual inspection can reveal brake fluid leaks.

As the brake wheel cylinders are a part of the braking system, they are important to the overall safety of the vehicle. If you suspect that your wheel cylinders may be having a problem, or your vehicle is displaying any of the symptoms above, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic to determine if it is necessary to replace your brake wheel cylinder.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...


Related questions

Q: Runs fine with the map sensor vacuum line plugged off

Hello, the map sensor is an input of engine load. When the map sensor is disconnected it will set a fault code which is emission base and check engine will come on,this cause the system to go into a default...

Q: How do I check the brake fluid?

It’s very easy to check your brake fluid levels. Simply open your hood, and locate the brake fluid reservoir. The reservoir will have a minimum line, and a maximum line, and the brake fluid level should fall between these two...

Q: Is my alternator bad or my cables?

Hello. If the vehicle is only working when the charger is installed then there is high resistance in the vehicles electrical system. Most of the time it is caused by a bad positive battery cable. I usually do a voltage...